by Franz Wright
Being who you are is not a disorder.
Being unloved is not a psychiatric disorder.
I can’t find being born in the diagnostic manual.
I can’t find being born to a mother incapable of touching you.
I can’t find being born on the shock treatment table.
Being offered affection unqualified safety and respect when
and only when you score dope for your father is
not a diagnosis.
Putting your head down and crying your way through elementary
school is not a mental illness, on the contrary.
And seeing a psychiatrist for fifteen minutes per month
some subdoormat psychiatrist writing for just what you
need lots more drugs
to pay his mortgage Lexus lease and child’s future tuition
while pondering which wine to have for
dinner is not effective
treatment for friendless and permanent sadness.
Child your sick smile is the border of sleep.
Abandoned naked and thrown to the world is not a disease.
She was unhappy just as I was only not as lucky.